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Starcraft 2: Less 3D, More 2D

Starcraft 2 was announced last year, squishing rumors that Blizzard was working on a next-generation MMO to follow after its extremely successful World of Warcraft. But this isn’t to say that Starcraft 2 wasn’t well received. In fact, it’s more than likely the most anticipated game in development today.

Based on entirely new code and sporting a sleek and detailed 3D engine, Starcraft 2 definitely shines in every visual way. Many gamers initially felt that while the in game teasers looked good, the 3D nature of the game may adversely affect gameplay. Long time Starcraft players will testify that the original 2D Starcraft engine is what gives the game such a fast paced feeling.

According to Starcraft 2 lead developer Chris Sigaty, Blizzard is working hard at making the 3D engine un-intrusive as possible.

"It’s a whole 3D engine, so there will be differences to some degree but our core goal out of it is to have that really fast-paced action, quickly grabbing units and assigning them to particular targets, you know, to match the fast-paced action," said Sigaty.

Traditional RTS game play is what Starcraft fans have been dying for, for more than 10 years. Sigaty appears to know exactly what this is all about. In fact, Starcraft is still played today all over the world. Blizzard wants to keep that trend going, as its obviously a very successful one.

"Our goal is not to let you feel [3D] too much, other than see the amazing effects you can get out of 3D: lighting, real-time shadows, all these things add up to a much nicer looking game that scales for a much longer period of time," said Sigaty. "Out of it we hope we can achieve that great quality of look and that same quality of play that you saw with the 2D stuff."

Most gamers are hoping that Starcraft 2 will hit store shelves late this year, but so far Blizzard has not made any comments on the game’s official release date, sticking to a "when it’s done" model. Regardless, there’s no denying Blizzard’s history of success.

"There’s such a hardcore fan base that has certain expectations, so that’s definitely the biggest challenge from my perspective. We made some decisions early on that we’d keep a lot of that familiarity."